Abney Park performed live in NYC las night, and I had the lucky privilege of seeing their whole show. We were in the delightful Don Hill’s located at the corner of Greenwich and Spring Streets. The decoration for the Tim Burton Ball was classy, but the venue had so much atmosphere that the giant playing cards, and other Wonderland-themed decorations were just the icing on the cake. Don Hills is really cosy and intimate: an ideal location for dedicated fans to enjoy a vibrant costume ball.
Doors were at 7pm, which ended up being more like 7:20. Arriving a little early, I got the chance to hang out with some of the more dedicated visitors, and the great crew who made this evening so enjoyable. The costumes were fabulous. Everyone had made a real effort to show up in stunningly creative and classy outfits, running the entire gamut of steampunk and wonderland themes. The effect was like stepping into a steampunk themed Mos Eisley cantina, where the airship deck-hands were mixing with down-on-their-luck gentry. Some really dedicated souls even had different costumes for different parts of the evening. The stage manager donned white-rabbit makeup for the Wonderland segment, and was running around nearly as hurriedly as the furry character she was imitating (though sadly without her beloved wind-up pocket-watch to make imitation complete). One enterprising character had what seemed like half a dozen different costumes as the night progressed.
The band were absolutely amazing. Playing two sets, and no less than three encores, they really justified the love and efforts of their fans this evening. A hardcore contingent sang and danced along with the entire set, keeping Captain Robert on his toes throughout. In a surreal moment absolutely in keeping with the theme of the event, Robert agreed to sing Herr Drosselmeyer’s Doll, only on the condition that the audience waltzed to it. The result was a beautiful few minutes of flowing ball-gowns on a (very crowded) dance floor. Between sets, and at every opportunity, Nathaniel was out on the dance floor, not just tearing it up, but also gently persuading even the shyest wallflowers to try out their dancing. The rest of the band were just as relaxed, endearing, and engaging, taking the time to hang out with fans, and shoot the breeze.
I didn’t leave until late, after the surprise Lady GaGa dance interlude (a good decision). I got back home at an ungodly hour, totally exhausted, after a great night to remember. Thanks Abney Park; play near here again soon?
Check out some awesome photos from the event on Flickr.